Hansen, Hersey roll over Rockford Auburn
Hersey quarterback Jordan Hansen, a Northern Illinois University recruit, had a hand in all seven of the Huskies' touchdowns Friday night.
With Hansen leading the way on offense, Hersey defeated No. 29 seed Rockford Auburn 49-0 in a first round game of the Class 7A playoffs in Arlington Heights.
The win moves the fourth-seeded Huskies, now 9-1, into the second round where they will face the winner of Saturday's Lake Zurich at Andrew game.
Hansen was not the only standout Friday night in Arlington Heights. Max McCall was in on several sacks and blocked a punt that turned into a Hersey touchdown. The Huskies recorded their first shutout this year.
"On defense we really prepared hard this week," said McCall. "We showed how hard we worked this week and it was great to get the win.
"It was really nice and cool to get the blocked punt. Our defense was able to break through the line and I was able to get my hand on the ball. I was really ready mentally and locked in for this game."
"Max is really a versatile player," said Hersey head coach Joe Pardun. "He's been getting better all fall. We've been challenging him and I am proud of the way he has grown as a football player. Our defense has had a good first season. Now, we are in the second season."
Hansen, who scored 4 rushing touchdowns to go with 3 passing touchdowns, gave credit to two previous Hersey quarterbacks. Owen Goldsberry and Ryan Justice set the tone for Hansen.
"I really learned a lot from them," said Hansen. "I took the best things that they did and added it to my game. Both of them taught me about leadership and leading the team. You have to make sure you operate the game with perfect execution."
Hansen did just that Friday. Using the option to perfection, Hansen scored on touchdown runs of 23 and 17 yards in the first quarter en route to a 135-yard rushing day in 11 attempts. Hansen then connected on touchdown passes of 49 yards to Ben Clawson and followed that with a 19-yard reception to Jimmy Mantanovic as Hersey led 27-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Hansen scored on a 4-yard run in the second quarter and tossed another touchdown pass of 21 yards to Mantanovic. His final touchdown of 40 yards came in part due to McCall's block.
"As long as we got the win," said Hansen, "I don't care how we scored. I just want to move on to next week. After last week's loss (to Rolling Meadows) there was a message. We just couldn't let it bring us down. We had to learn from the loss."
While Hersey piled up 332 yards, the defense shut down the Knights' (5-5) run game to 86 yards and passing to 56 yards. Knights quarterback Ja'quan Brady was 9-for-23 with an interception.
"We knew that they had a good passing game and some good athletes," said Pardun. "We challenged the defensive backs and the rest of the defense to finish the game and get our first shutout."